x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Euro 2012: New selection row for Hodgson over 'lack of respect' for Ferdinand

Anger from veteran England star's camp as coach selects untested Kelly to replace injured Gary Cahill.

Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand

England coach Roy Hodgson has been accused of treating Rio Ferdinand with a "lack of respect" by the defender's representative in a row which threatens to overshadow final preparations for Euro 2012.

The Manchester United defender was overlooked as a replacement for injured Gary Cahill in favour of young Liverpool defender Martin Kelly yesterday.

Reports had suggested Hodgson held concerns over Ferdinand's ability to get along with John Terry, in light of the Chelsea captains impending court case for alleged racist remarks to Ferdinand's brother Anton in October. Terry denies the charge against him.

Hodgson claimed the snub was for 'footballing reasons' but both the player and his representative expressed their unhappiness with the news.

In between the 33-year-old's tweets of "what footballing reasons???" and "Happy Jubilee people! Its been a great one!!" came the damning verdict of Jamie Moralee, Ferdinand's long-time friend and business partner.

"Lampard, Terry, Barry, Gerrard; all ageing but they go to the tournament," he said.

"Why is Rio different?

"To treat a player that has captained and served his country 81 times [in this manner] is nothing short of disgraceful. [It's a] total lack of respect from Hodgson and the FA as far as I am concerned."

Ironically, Hodgson had bemoaned last week the loss of 143 caps' worth of experience in Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry, who have both been ruled out through injury in the past week.

Now he finds himself in the uncomfortable position of having to explain how Ferdinand, with 81 caps for England, is being ignored on football grounds in favour of someone who made just 12 Premier League appearances for Liverpool this season.

Question marks over Ferdinand's fitness were raised by Sir Alex Ferguson towards the end of the season.

However, Ferdinand could argue that he started Manchester United's last 16 Premier League games.

It means Hodgson, who has previously expressed his discomfort over the extended discussion about Ferdinand's absence, will face yet more questions at the first available opportunity after England arrive at their Kraków base later this week.

Do you think Roy Hodgson was right to pick Martin Kelly over Rio Ferdinand?  Let us know.

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